Thursday, 19 November 2009

Crane out and Survey

54ft and 12 tons
big ass crane
Chris the Surveyor gets busythe bent skeg
80 ton crane turned up at 7.30am. great.
But with no strops!! very bad.

Four hour wait ensued while correct strops were dispatched from West London. The wind was whipping down the thames at a fair old rate of knots, chilling our bones and making our knees knock. The offer of hot coffee and warm hospitality in the Marina office was gratefully accepted.

Chris, the marine surveyor, spent two hours crawling around underneath to determine the hull thickness, and if she would float. He had a few minor concerns, especially with the tiller being out of alignment, and a badly bent skeg. He surmised that somebody had most likely banged down on a lock cill somewhere.

The seller was furious with our first offer. And didn't want to budge from their original asking price, despite the surveyors recommendation as to the boat's true worth, and the subsequent work we'd have to do. We were prepared to walk away at this point. a painful and costly decision staring us right in the face. Eventually the seller calmed down, and we were able to work out a mutually beneficial deal. We then parted with some cash. Thanked everybody for their time and trouble. Handshake. She was ours!

Steve the marina mechanic was able to affect a miracle cure with a well deployed sledgehammer and some muscles. Mercifully, we didn't witness this. And returned from the pub, to discover a fully working rudder. Thankyou Steve.

The ineptitude of the crane company, meant our plan to transport her by road to Reading went pearshaped. So we are stuck on the thames until Jan 29th, waiting for the lock maintenance to finish. Our consolation is that this marina is very friendly, and works out cheaper than the one we were going to be transported to.

We're not going to turn our blog into a list of adverts, but these people went above and beyond the call of duty to help out a couple of boating neophytes. We're very grateful to them, and can recommend their services to anybody.

Bourne End Marina
Chris Holmes, Surveyor


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